As pandemic lockdowns have continued, domestic abuse numbers have risen - and Dr Ava Kanyeredzi is meeting the issue head on. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate domestic abuse related incidents rose by 9% during the first lockdown - a trend which, sadly, has been on an upward trajectory over recent years.
For Dr Ava Kanyeredzi, senior lecturer from the School of Psychology, University of East London (UEL), something had to change, and she is at the forefront of calls for greater education about domestic abuse among black majority churches.
Many initiatives are thus being developed by communities and churches and one of these initiatives, led by Dr Ava Kanyeredzi, was a recently launched research and evaluation project on domestic abuse that offers a toolkit for leaders in black majority churches. This initiative, called 'Walk in the way of Love' is the work of the forum, the Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF), that formed 5 years ago.
"The Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF) is a group of black Christians who work across the spectrum of professions relevant to address domestic abuse. BCDAF are concerned about the 'elephant' in our congregations - that being domestic abuse and violence.